Commercial landlords are struggling to keep tenants and hold onto property in one of the toughest markets in decades.

Nationwide, effective office rents fell 8.5 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2008, according to Reis Inc., and companies reduced office space drastically, vacating 19.6 million square feet, the equivalent of six Empire State Buildings, Reis calculated.

Victor Calanog, director of research at Reis, predicts that this drop in rents likely will spur a pickup in leasing activity over the next 12 months.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, A.D. Pruitt (10/28/2009)